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Proteome Sciences Awarded Contract by Thermo Fisher to Develop Cancer Pathway Profiling Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Proteome Sciences today announced a $2.1 million contract with Thermo Fisher Scientific to develop methods of profiling changes in cancer pathways.

The terms of the contract — Proteome Sciences' largest ever — provide Thermo Fisher access to Proteome Sciences' patents covering a three-stage mass spectrometry fragmentation method for improved analysis and accuracy. In addition to receiving cash, Proteome Sciences will receive a no-cost lease for mass spec equipment to develop the pathway assays. The UK-based proteomics technology company also said it will continue developing 20- and 30-plex Tandem Mass Tags for Thermo Fisher for the next additions to the TMT range of tags.

It said that it plans to develop an expanded range of mass spec-based assays for the pharmaceutical industry by leveraging its TMT and Thermo Fisher's Orbitrap mass spec technologies. Using its SysQuant workflows, Proteome Sciences will profile low-level changes in the activity of key cancer signaling pathways "to facilitate optimal drug selection across a range of solid tumors" and enable clinicians to provide patient management in real time.

In a statement, Proteome Sciences CEO Christopher Pearce said, "It has long been our goal to provide clinicians the tools they need to provide early diagnosis of disease and better match molecular targeting medicines to the most likely responders. The output from this agreement should have a profound positive impact on the lives of large numbers of patients suffering from chronic diseases and, at the same time, provide considerable economic benefits to the healthcare system."

The two companies have had an ongoing relationship stretch back to at least 2008, when Proteome Sciences licensed its isobaric mass tagging technology to Thermo Fisher. In 2010, they announced a collaboration to develop quantitative proteomic workflows for biomarker discovery and validation.